Ken Stone’s FCP Reviews Warm Cards White Balancing System

Bob Gladden and Steve Douglas review Warm Cards White Balancing System from Vortex Media. I haven’t used their cards, but the images in the review really demonstrate the principles of white balance and the effect it can have on your photos or video. Well worth a read.

Anyone who uses a digital camera, being it a still camera or a video camcorder will want to set his/her white balance. Often much time is spent setting up a shot, trying to achieve that “special signature look” that is either characteristic of our style of shooting or desired by the client. Sometimes we use filters, special lights, and mattes or a combination of these to try and get an image with a special feel. One thing that will truly affect every shot is the setting of the white balance.

[I wonder if Senator John McCain, writer Dominick Dunne, and the other folks on the Warm Cards site know their likenesses are being used to push this product?Tim ]

Telestream Flip4Mac WMV 2.0

Microsoft still offers Windows Media Player for Macs, but they won’t do any more upgrades. Instead, they offer users the free Telestream Flip4Mac Windows Media Viewer 2.0, which will play Windows Media in your QuickTime player (snowballs are now melting more slowly in a notorious hot place). Download the viewer at either of those links. Here’s a thorough review. My few tests have worked well on OS X so far.

Photoshop Tips for Beginners 1: Selections

Dave Nagel posts the first in a series of Photoshop Tips for Beginners:

I kick off my first extended series of tutorials dealing specifically with time-saving tips, starting off with a mini-series on making selections.

Now, for our first tip, I’d like to present what has proved to be probably the most useful piece of information in my early Photoshop career: the shortcut for selecting the contents of a transparent layer.

Photoshop does so much, but if you have to select the part of your picture you want to change, or you can’t apply the effect or filter. This should ease the learning curve for lots of image editing wannabes. Good luck.

A Freeware Wiki

Freeware Wiki Banner

A place for you to look for great freeware that’s been tried and reviewed by people just like you. The only bad software you will find here is always part of a warning to stay away from it. If you like, you can post your own reviews here. It’s easy, all you have to do is write one.

I love freeware. Freewarewiki is a site anyone can add to, and lots of folks have added their reviews and comments on some free applications. It’s Windows-centric, but so is the world. Have at it.

Mac OS X Screenshot Secrets


O’Reilly—Mac OS X Screenshot Secrets

Do you use Macs in your classrooms or training? Need to use images from applications or your desktop to make a point, demonstrate a technique, present a result? Want all kinds of flexibility for free?

New developments have made capturing the Mac screen easier and more flexible. In this article, I’ll look at several free programs that will pump up any screenshooter’s utility belt. I’ll also share a hack I developed for capturing OS X windows with custom shadows.

A nice piece covering several techniques you may not have thought of, but author David Battino overlooked a tool I use frequently, and that I’ve noted here before: ImageWell. It’s free, has built-in screenshot capability, and provides a much easier way to add a drop shadow.

Digital Music Players Worse Than Walkman For Ears – Tech News – Digital Music Players Worse Than Walkman For Ears

Some audiologists say digital music players are different because the old Walkman-style player was analog sound. When you turned up the volume too high, the sound got distorted.

But with digital players, you can turn the volume up as loud as you want and still get a clear sound.

Hooey. This makes as much sense as Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel saying of his guitar amps, “These go to 11.” Once the digital file is converted to a signal that can be amplified, it’s analog, and an analog signal can distort if the amplifier is driven to exceed its undistorted capacity, a condition called “clipping.” What this means is that the volume control and the amplifier in the iPod were well matched so the amp won’t clip.

The rest of the piece is valid. An audiologist tested the iPod and found it can pump out 115 decibels: “the equivalent of a lawn mower.” Extended periods of listening to any loud source will cause hearing damage. Get good earphones, make sure they fit, and don’t keep the volume up, or you’ll be saying “Huh?” before you’re done with college.

Final Cut Pro System Compatibilities

From Apple’s Knowledge Base:

Final Cut Pro 4.5 HD and earlier not supported on Power Mac G5 (Late 2005) or iMac G5 (iSight)

Final Cut Pro 4 through Final Cut Pro HD 4.5 require a computer with an AGP video card for installation. PowerMac G5 (Late 2005) models (released October 19, 2005) and iMac G5 (iSight) models feature newer PCI Express video cards. Because of this, you can’t install Final Cut Pro 4.x on these computers. Final Cut Pro 4.x is not supported on these computers.

Final Cut Pro 3.x and earlier do not work in Max OS X 10.4 Tiger. Because Power Mac G5 (Late 2005) and iMac G5 (iSight) models require Mac OS X 10.4.2 or later, you can’t install Final Cut Pro 3.x or earlier versions on these computers. Final Cut Pro 3.x and earlier versions are not supported on any computer running Mac OS X 10.4.

To use Final Cut Pro on Power Mac G5 (Late 2005) or iMac G5 (iSight) computers, please upgrade to Final Cut Studio.

Keep Calendar Categories With VisualNewt vCal Exploder

iCal Screenshot

I’ve wanted to move beyond the limited Palm Desktop software, probably to iCal, for some time. I haven’t before now because I couldn’t keep the categories I’d set up over the last few years when imported into iCal. Somehow, the proper search terms (alas, now forgotten) led me to VisualNewt Software’s vCal Exploder, a little freeware hack that allows the export of any or all categories from Palm Desktop as separate calendars.